Labour 1997-2010 constitutional reforms


Introduction of Human Rights Act 1998

-Requires the Birtish Government to ensure that legislation is compatabile with ECHR. (European convention on Human rights)

-All bills passed at Westminster and in devolved assemblies must recieve a declaration with compatability from ECHR.

-The rights protected by the convention include:

                                -The right to a fair trial

                               -Freedom of thought and expression

                               -The right to life

                               -The right to liberty

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Introduction of the Freedom Of Information Act 200

-The FIA allows indivduals the right to acess their personal information held on to them by public bodies. However,such information can be with held on the grounds of conern for national security or public safety.

eg.FIA led to expense scandal

eg.FIA led to people and public bodies being held more accountable.

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House of lords reform

-The House Of Lords Act 1999,caused all but 92 heriditary peers to remain.

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House of Commons reform

-Time of Prime minister's question to one 30 minute session,instead of two 15 minute sessions.

-Also attempted to make working hours more flexible

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-The introduction of The Constitutional Reform Act 2005,which foccued on judicial reform,and changed the Lord Chancellor's role dramatically. It also meant that judicial independence would be ensrined by law.

-A supreme court was created in 2009,becoming the highest court in the uk,thus removing the judicial role of the House of Lords.

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Devolution is the transfer or delegation of power to a lower level,especially by central government to local or regional administration.

-Devolution was handed to Scotland and Wales, with a Scotish and Welsh parliament being created in 1999.

-Devolution also given to Northen Ireland with creation of a Northen Ireland assembly in 1998.

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-Blair govenment made changes to the local governments.

-Decntralised powers handed to mayors in enviroment and transport. For eg. Congestion charges were introduced for motorists entering the Central London area.

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Electoral Reform

-Proportional representation introduced for elections to:

                                                  -Scotish Parliament

                                                  -Mayoral elections in towns and cities

                                                  -European parliament

                                                   -Welsh and Northen Ireland assembly

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-While Blair was in government,there were a more frequent use of refernendums on constitutional reforms. Referendums foe eg.   -Devoulution referendums held in Scotland,Wales and Northen Ireland.

-However not all proposed referendums occur such as the joining the euro and Eu constitution.

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